Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida, Europe and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura.
Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sadly, Iceland and the Aurora Borealis have been subtracted from my trip itinerary; Putting the awe back in awesome: Auroras over Sweden make you feel very insignificant in the bigger scheme of things, so you need to positively influence the things that you CAN!; @STFAbisko

VideoFromSpace YouTube Channel video: 3 Years of Amazing Auroras Captured on Video by Chad Blakley at Abisko National Park, Sweden. Uploaded June 12, 2012.
Sadly, Iceland and the Aurora Borealis have been subtracted from my trip itinerary; Putting the awe back in awesome: Auroras over Sweden make you feel very insignificant in the bigger scheme of things, so you need to positively influence the things that you CAN!; @STFAbisko
Or, jag tänker inte Island som planerat.
Some of you already know this from emails or phone calls of mine the past few weeks, but for others of you, this will be the first you hear of it: I'm not going to be going to Iceland in January as originally planned.
My big plans to stop there for a few days on the way back from Sweden, and to hop on a sweet tour bus and take a long-but-comfortable drive a few hours north of Reykjavik to see the Northern Lights/Aurora Borealis are officially kaput. 

It's mostly because in October, I booked non-refundable airline tickets on SAS and had to pay in advance for the airfare, hotel and the B&B in Stockholm that I'm staying at to get the specific travel dates I wanted, ostensibly, in order to get back in time to watch the public Presidential Inaugural on Monday the 21st.
The non-Romney inaugural as it turns out

This required that I make some changes to my original itinerary, as discussed here on the blog back on July 18, 2012, titled, Want to see a sneak peek of my future? Prescient geniuses with a camera at BeepShow have already filmed part of my future -away from the heat & humidity of Miami- and it includes Iceland and the Northern Lights. But sadly, I'll end up missing Sigur Rós at Iceland Airwaves; #Iceland, #BeepShow, #Icelandair

As previously seen on that post: 

London to Iceland in Ten Minutes from Beep Show on Vimeo.
Beep Show video: London to Iceland in Ten Minutes. 2012.
Complete information about video is here: http://vimeo.com/45121903

Still, it's not like you can't see the Aurora Borealis from Sweden, you just have to be smart, resourceful AND patient... like the people who captured the wonderful videos above and below.

For me to see it in two weeks, I'll obviously have to leave greater Stockholm so I can be free of the city's light pollution.
On the other hand, while I'm there, there will be a whole lot LESS hours of light -daylight- for me than what I'm used to, as sunrise there will be sometime after 8:30 a.m. and sundown will be around 3:30 p.m.
Yes, you read that correctly, sundown at 3:30 p.m.

Just so you know, since I'm guessing that most of you reading this have never heard of it, the city of Abisko, located in Norrbottenthe northernmost county in Sweden, up near the Norwegian border and the Lappland area of Finland, is considered one of the best places on the planet to see the aurora borealis phenomena.
That's largely because the mountains around there catch most of the precipitation in winter and prevent it from interfering with the night time views.
That explains why so many of the videos on this post and uploaded to YouTube were recorded there.
It's a target-rich environment.

View Larger Map

According to this article in the newspaper up in distant Norrbotten, NSD, i.e. the Norrländska Socialdemokratenhttp://www.nsd.se/nyheter/ bookings to the Abisko Turiststation STFa.k.a. STF Abisko, increased by 130% over last year, a banner year. 

According to this article, what's especially noticeable now are the number of Northern Lights tourists coming from Japan and Great Britain, which sort of stands to reason given both how Internet-savvy those countries are, and how famous their citizens are are for traveling and exploring.

For the Japanese, it's about a nine-hour plane ride from Tokyo, but for the Brits, it's much less daunting to get to the nearest airport, Kiruna, via stops in Oslo or Stockholm Arlanda.

Official STF Abisko website:

Meanwhile, over at Porjus, the #1 place to see the aurora according to many informed sources, there's a LIVE streaming camera you might want to check out: http://uk.jokkmokk.jp/detail_nr3.shtml


VideoFromSpace YouTube Channel video:Chad Blakley's latest video of an ionized oxygen aurora over Abisko National Park, Sweden. Uploaded December 19, 2012 

VideoFromSpace YouTube Channel video: Awe-Inspiring Northern Lights Shine Over Sweden, December 2012. Shot from Abisko National Park, Sweden. Uploaded December 13, 2012. http://youtu.be/N79ATuvHi1Y

See more from Chad Blakley at http://www.lightsoverlapland.com and http://digitaljournal.com/article/327325

tonakai82 YouTube Channel video: Aurora Borealis from Abisko Sky Station in northern Sweden 2012. Uploaded December 15, 2012. http://youtu.be/kc9Ds3b1IKk

More photos at: http://www.flickriver.com/photos/63402501@N07/sets/72157632201759165/  

GregTechnology YouTube Channel video: Aurora in Abisko -The northern lights blaze in Arctic Sweden. Uploaded December 13, 2012. http://youtu.be/E4BbfrF5PxE

skbailey YouTube Channel video: Doggylights. Uploaded December 6, 2012.

tenorsominutesagos YouTube Channel video: A Day and Night at the Aurora Sky Station, Abisko, Sweden. Uploaded December 25, 2011. 

I'm concluding today's post with a non-aurora video of snow-heavy Abisko from two days ago, the day before Christmas, with a temperature of about negative 25 Fahrenheit...

Joachim Floberg YouTube Channel video: Abisko Julen 2012.  Uploaded December 24, 2012. http://youtu.be/lIuwAbbZHV0

Trivia: Sweden has a base compound in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan that's officially called "Northern Lights."
See more at...
English aurora photographer Patricia Covern, now living in Porjus: 




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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
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Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)

Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard)
Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers

North Miami Beach Senior High School, the Home of the Chargers
Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation

In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation
"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.